Audio with quality - for high-quality music enjoyment

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This article provides information about the current options for buying music in high audio quality, i.e. uncompressed in file formats such as FLAC or WAV (download) or listening to it online (streaming).

MP3 is certainly familiar to everyone. It is the most widely used format for audio files. The recording of a music track consists of a lot of data. With MP3, this is compressed into a manageable package so that as many files as possible can fit on your device. During this compression process, certain frequency ranges are cut off, among other things. If you listen to music with a small speaker, you will not notice this. However, if you want to listen to your music on a high-quality system, you will need music files of a suitable quality.

In the days of vinyl, that was no problem. And even today, vinyl as an analog form of music reproduction is an unbeatable musical pleasure. When converted to digital format, a recording loses its value. Anyone who switched from vinyl to CD a few decades ago could see that. Nowadays, however, the CD is already out of fashion and the quality of the music has become worse and worse. As in many other areas, mass has taken the place of quality.

The recordings on a CD correspond to a format called WAV. WAV files are uncompressed audio in CD quality. The alternative to WAV is called FLAC. FLAC files are much smaller than WAV without losing any of the quality of the recording,

Anyone looking for high-quality audio usually listens in FLAC format.

But where can you get it? Unfortunately, there is currently no platform that offers high-quality recordings worldwide. In the following, I would like to introduce you to a few platforms that are interesting for collectors, DJs and connoisseurs of uncompressed music. You can visit the platforms to find out whether they are available in your country. I have included individual country examples below. Our entire catalog and of course all other music currently is available on these platforms:

 

7digital - Downloads in FLAC and MP3
Self-description: "Music enjoyment at the highest level - without loss of quality. Hi-Res offers you the opportunity to experience your favorite albums in a new way."  But first you have to find your favorite albums at 7digital. The easiest way to do this is to search for the music in our music store and enter the title and artist of an album in the 7digital search engine. The platform is available in these countries, among others: UK, USA, France, Italy, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Canada, Australia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and some more. As a rule, a browser recognizes the user's dial-up country and prompts them to switch directly if necessary.

 

Qobuz - Streaming and downloads in FLAC
Self-description: "When we founded Qobuz in 2008, our goal was to give the online music world what has always been important to us music lovers and music enthusiasts. That's exactly why we at Qobuz, completely isolated and single-handedly, convinced our labels to offer us something other than just that tiresome MP3! Qobuz was the first service in the world to offer its entire catalog for download in 16-bit/44.1 kHz CD quality." The search function is just as high-quality thanks to its filter options. For example, you can display all albums from our various labels (DyM Online, Danza y Mo-vimiento, ViaCancun, Krosskolor) or filter by genre, artist and other criteria. You can find this platform in the USA, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Switzerland, Scandinavia and more. Qobuz is also well positioned in Latin America and has platforms in Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Colombia. Find a list of all countries here.

 

TIDAL - Streaming in FLAC and MP3
Self-description: "Experience first-class sound quality that shows every detail with HiRes Free Lossless Audio Codec (HiRes FLAC up to 24 bit, 192 kHz)." Well, unfortunately our audios don't have such a high quality, but you can find our complete catalog as FLAC 16 bit, 44kHz at TIDAL. TIDAL is a streaming platform that even DJs work with. If your reception quality is not optimal, you can also switch to MP3. The prices are moderate and there is even a family subscription. The platform is available in quite a few countries. You can find a current country overview here.

 

DEEZER - streaming in FLAC and MP3
The platform, which originates from France, is available in around 180 countries. With the subscription model, it is possible to stream the music as FLAC. It is also possible to save the files on your own device for offline listening.

It is interesting to note that platforms with high-quality music come exclusively from Europe. In contrast, market-dominating providers such as Google, Apple and Amazon primarily come from the USA. My guess is that the market leaders are once again waiting until the often very committed platforms with quality have convinced more people to buy quality. They will then enter precisely this market with price dumping. This has actually always been the case in recent decades.

If you are in a country where your favorite provider is not active, you can try to connect via a VPN. That should actually work ... If you are interested in WAV files, you can get this format from Danza y Movimiento. However, this is more expensive than with the providers mentioned above, as it involves manual effort.

I and certainly others would be grateful for up-to-date information and experience on this topic. The information in this article is current as of June 2024.

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Wednesday, 17 July 2024